The Soviet History Lab at the University of Geneva is the intellectual home for Switzerland-based researchers, who share the same passion for the Soviet history, and are interested in the stimulating intellectual environment, as well as in the regular academic feedback from the senior scholars.

It provides a platform for young and advanced researchers to discuss methodological and theoretical approaches related to the study of Soviet history as well as recent publications, conferences, and debates in the field of Soviet history. The Lab plans to organize events and invite lecturers who specialize in Soviet history.

The research topics

The scholarship about the Soviet Union has a long history. Recently, the Soviet period is returning as a central focus of the scholarly inquiry using the new methodological techniques such as transnational, oral, cultural and social history. Moreover, we are facing exciting new questions and challenges, which resulted from the new methodological research, the opening of archives, the globalized scholarly network and the rise of the young generation working on the former Soviet territories. The post-Soviet territories represent a new development in history focusing on local particularities and differentiating local political and intellectual elites. Thus we need a collective discussion and methodological sophistication, which allow us to think about new methods and to work on it together.

The working group considers necessary to establish the working academic group for the early career PhD students and scholars and to focus on the following topics in Soviet history:

  • Soviet social and cultural history
  • Transfer, circulation and networks
  • Politics of expertise, the Soviet production of knowledge
  • Transnational history (diplomacy, tourism, sport, cultural and scientific exchanges)
  • Center-periphery relations, Soviet Republics (Ukraine, in particular), and closed cities.

The mission.

Thus, the mission of the Soviet History Lab is to be at the center of the discussions and knowledge advancement in Soviet history and to make this knowledge readily available by bringing scholars together to advance on collective and interdisciplinary projects.

Our working goals:

  • bring together established and young researchers from Switzerland and abroad who conduct research on the Soviet period
  • review the existing methodological approaches to the study of the Soviet past
  • publish literature guides (new books released or interesting articles) on the topics discussed during the group event on the Lab’s website
  • organize conferences and workshops in Switzerland
  • Inform about main scholar events, conferences, and calls for papers in relation to our main research interest
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